The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), Uniform
Crime Reporting (UCR) program and the National Incident-Based Reporting System
(NIBRS) are the three main sources used to provide annual reports on various
statistics such as: crimes, offenders, victims and more. The crime data
reporting systems are used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
NCVS provides information pertaining to the victims,
measures types of crimes including those not reported to law enforcement. The
annual survey focuses on non-fatal personal crimes such as rape, robbery and
assault as well as property crimes that include burglary, vandalism and theft.
Other type of information found on the NCVS survey is calculated crimes as well
as comparing the changes in crime rates throughout the years.
The UCR program provides information from 18,000 agencies nationwide
with a goal to produce accurate information from reports disclosed to law
enforcement such as murder, aggravated assault and forcible rape. The UCR
program provides additional data on the officers killed and assaulted and the
relationship between the victim and offender.
NIBRS gathers detailed information that was measured in the
UCR program as well as any occurrences and arrests from law enforcement
agencies. Divided into group A and group B offenses, detailed information such
as the date, time, area where the incident occurred, victim and offender
demographics and relationship and the type of weapon used.
In my opinion, the UCR program is more important because it
is the system that is more widely used by researchers’, the public, law enforcement
agencies and college students. The UCR relies on 18,000 agencies which provides
more information. However, NIBRS is more accurate as it provides crime
statistics by supplying a contingency for crimes as well as the detailed
information provided by officers from their incident reports. All infractions
within every criminal occurrence is surveyed and due to its ability to provide
vital crime statistics, it has improved the quality of crime data.
A challenge that exists in reporting systems, is that law
enforcement agencies in large populations aren’t reporting their data as well
as some victims because of their fear or negative view towards the law and
police officers. To overcome the challenges, all participants should provide information
to the NCVS, UCR and NIBRS to ensure that crime statistics are accurate and
public needs are being met. It’s would also help if police officers have more
interaction with communities to build a rapport so they will feel more
comfortable to report a crime.